Molinari, Jack: Moscone negotiation and Alioto
Jack Molinari: Night and day from Alioto (talking about George Moscone). Alioto… The Board was something over there that you had to deal with. It was like a pesky fly that was flying around. It was over there and you had to deal with it. I remember one time he sent us a message saying, “If you pass this legislation I’m going to veto it.” We passed the legislation. He walked into our chambers – the gavel had not come down three seconds – picked the bill up off the clerk’s desk, wrote veto across it, signed it, threw it back down and walked out. That was Joe Alioto. George had been legislator. George had been on the board. George had been the majority leader in the Senate. He knew what it took to deal with a legislature. He knew you didn’t get 100% all the time. He knew you had to make compromises. And George treated everybody, even those who were opposed to him, with respect at all times. He would sit down and talk to you. You didn’t go to George’s office; he came to your office. Jon Rubin: Would you say that he was smart? That he was clever? That he was a good practitioner of the art of politics. Jack Molinari: Yes, he was a master at it because he knew how to deal with people. I think he had honed that in the legislature. I mean, you imagine up there when you’re the majority leader all of the points of view and the egos that you have to deal with. Well you come down to this microcosm and the Board of Supervisors is not a whole lot different, and he knew how to deal with each one of us. He knew how to deal with me. If he wanted to get something, he’d come over. But he wouldn’t come over and say, “I gotta have this.” He’d come over and say, “Okay, look, what are you thinking? What do you need? Do you need in this legislation?” He was always open. But what a contrast to Alioto. Alioto, when the mayor wanted to see you, you went to the mayor. George would come to our office. Sit in our office, and talk to us one-on-one; which was a whole different kind of individual.
The Moscone oral history interviews are part of the George Moscone Collection, MSS 328.
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Rubin, Jon and Molinari, Jack, "Molinari, Jack: Moscone negotiation and Alioto" (2011). Moscone Oral Histories. 107.